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The flight to Egypt

Gospel Reading: Mt 2:13-15, 19-23
When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, Out of Egypt I called my son.

When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee. He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, He shall be called a Nazorean.

The same angel talks to Joseph in a dream and says the same things, but this time the direction is going back to Israel. Previously, they ran away from Bethlehem because Herod wanted to kill the Child. Now the would-be killer of Jesus is dead. Set to go back to Judah, Joseph is afraid of Herod’s son Archelaus. So he and his family settle in Nazareth, up north in Galilee. Matthew sees in this the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, for Samson, who was a Nazirite, prefigured Jesus (cf Jgs 13:5, 7). In the Gospel, God directs the Holy Family through an angel in a dream. Joseph proves to be righteous and just by being obedient to God. He takes all his cues from God. He is a silent person who obeys even without demanding explanations and clear directions, even in non-emergency cases. Mary and the Child are just as quiet. We do not hear them talk or complain. They allow themselves to be led by Joseph without explanations. This may be cultural but, in the context of salvation history, they are all moving with faith.

They have predisposed themselves to the wisdom of God.

Do you put yourself in God’s hands? Or do you think you know better and can manage?

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.